Saturday, 8 November 2008

Come along to Handm@de tomorrow

The day is almost upon us, and I for one am very very excited.

The variety of sellers is amazing, with an eclectic mix of the traditional and the ultra modern - from painted canvas to stained glass, from jewellery to bags, and toys to clothes. You'll find something for everyone!

The doors open at 11, with free goody bags to the first few visitors, - hope to see you there.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Meet the Makers - Nic Dyche of TwigArt

TwigArt represents all the crafts that I enjoy and practice.

I first started in crafts through painting (mainly Oil and Acrylic) and got hooked! Most of the work I do now concentrates on small inks drawings, stained glass, silversmithing and photography although I'm still partial to flicking a bit of the oil paint around when the inspiration takes me.

Recently the greater emphasise has been on the stained glass, designing panels to create individual pieces. I especially love glass because each piece is so different in quality and character to the next and I love seeing how these come together.

I often try to mix media to bring in unexpected elements, playing on texture and quality as much as expectation. Some of the glass pieces will reflect this to greater and lesser degrees but it is something that I employ more regularly on my paintings.

Photography is a renewed interest (having studied it many years ago) and supports my love of travel. Many of the images come from day trips out in the UK or longer trips to Europe and America.

Although I largely create pieces through the images and colours found on my travels I am happy to undertake commissioned pieces.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Gift Ideas - Those Troublesome Teens

I don't know about you but it seems that buying for the teenagers in my family is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, and I've studied Thermodynamics so I know of what I speak!

This year however, after close observation of what seems to become a more and more baffling age group, I present some gift ideas from some of the amazingly creative makers who will be at Handm@de.

Cloudhopping's Skinny Minnie scarf I can already imagine on one of my ultra-hip cousins.

MyAphrodite's recent foray into mixed media has, I feel, put her on to a winner. In fact, I'd like to have her China Red pendant for myself! With its bold colours and striking silver centre-piece it is bound to be a firm favourite. And what's more, this pendant is ideal for a guy as well!

Odd Ball and Sticks' lovely bobbled iPod cover is another gift idea which would be great for either a boy or girl and is sure to get them to at least pop *one* ear bud out to mumble their thanks ;-)

Resin jewellery is very popular and this clever resin and teal dye bangle from PennyDog is both funky and classic.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Gift Ideas – Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

With bags coming in a close second.

Several of our stallholders work with textiles, and as you can guess a few of them make bags. Bags in all shapes and sizes, different materials, different colours... in fact, probably a bag to suit all tastes imaginable.

Here are 5 of the ones I like best...

Raspberry makes some amazing tote bags – perfect for popping to the shops with!

This over the shoulder bag by CaraJane has such a beautiful shape – love it.

StitchyWooWoos bags are really well made – this one has such rich reds.

For the evening this clutch by Cloudhopping would brighten up any outfit.

Last, but by no means least, is this stunning retro bag by Yunisacs.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Meet the Makers - Lindsey Bird of Blue Cricket

Today's Maker is Lindsey of Blue Cricket whose love of paper leads to the creation of lovely cards for all occasions.

Hello, I'm Lindsey. I have lived in Northamptonshire for 11 years now after moving from London. I trained as a silversmith and still work in the jewellery world. My big weakness is paper! Can't resist it!
I started making my own cards about 12 years ago. I have a few retail outlets and personal buyers and have started doing craft fairs. I love the whole design process and the arrival at a finished piece. I also do special commission cards which I particularly enjoy.You can find me at

Gift Ideas - For the Young Ones

The toy department of stores is the best place to be! And the toys at handm@de shouldn’t be a disappointment... bright colours, and fun shapes – I’m looking forward to seeing what arrives with our sellers!

I just love the brightness of Mondas leggy monsters – very funky, and perfect for boys or girls.

This pair of booties look so snug, and the colours Jezzabell has used remind me of coastal walks. Beautiful.

The shape and the colours in this hairband are very girly – ChiChiMoi has excelled!

For the crafty child, how about one of these kits by LoveALittle?

I can vouch for the quality of Namolios toys, from stuffed elephants to rag dolls – all made from great quality linens.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Gift Ideas – Secret Santa

With that time of year fast approaching, and the inevitable secret santa gifts doing the rounds at work it is certainly worth considering handmade products. There are quite a lot around that fit within the £5 to £15 price range – from soaps to purses and jewellery.

Here are a few that have caught my eye...

Top row, left to right: Upcycled Notebook by Paperleaf; Chocolate covered Ginger by Belflair; Corsage by PinkFlapJacks
Bottom row, left to right: Cube Coin Purse by YuniSacs; Warm & Wake Soap by PureSoaps; Splodge shrink plastic bracelet by TwinklySpangle

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Gift Ideas – to Treasure Forever

Sometimes we want to get our friends or family something that they’ll treasure forever, something that will last a lifetime or longer. Here is a small selection of items that our stallholders may bring with them.

The fairies that Lily Grace Originals produce are so delicate, all hand sewn and painted – not a toy, rather something to sit on a shelf and keep watch over her ward.

Tina Mammosers paintings of the English Coast are simply breathtaking.

Commissions are gladly taken by Paul of Buckingham Pottery, this vase is just one of the many examples of one off work.

Or, for the young family or doting Grandparents why not ask Designs By Dotty to recreate a childs drawing in stitched canvas? Very unique, and will last for far longer than the originals!

Gift Ideas – Glass

I love the feel of glass... but am more than a little clumsy so its not often to be found in our house. This doesn’t stop me admiring work as stunning as this though...

These latticework bowls by Handmade Heaven are beautiful, custom made in the colours that you want it’ll fit into any home beautifully.

A tiny little paisley curl, created by SnapDragon Beads, glass beads all lovingly stitched together onto a brooch back. These brooches will make any outfit ‘pop’.

Julie of Lush Lampwork sells some of the most amazing beads I’ve seen. These ‘Wonka’ beads are a riot of colour and fun.

Something smaller might be found at Mark Langfords stall. These Christmas decorations will add a touch of class to your tree.

And for those of you like me, clumsy, there is always resin! A lighter weight option that doesn’t break as easily as glass... this pendant by Teasel is very pretty.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Gift Ideas – with which to beautify your home

I’m going to skip the introduction here – as these stunning items speak for themselves.

Buckingham Pottery’s range of handthrown porcelain pieces is amazing. The colours and the shapes are perfection! I love the green and grey hues in this dessert bowl.

I’d heard of teapot cosies, but never boiled egg cosies... these tiny little warmers by CaraJane are so sweet!

HodgePodgeArts makes a whole range of art for your home – these alchemists bottles are gorgeous.

What home would be complete without a few cushions? I particularly like the colours in these ones by LittleChook.